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  1. Wasn’t too excited by the location of this episode but it looked spectacular. Samantha didn’t make a big deal out of the fall colors but that has to be a big draw there, with the emphasis on views and landscapes. So filmed last October, you see people masked up on that bridge with beautiful views around it. They film Sam with other people distancing. Really liked the creative use of different wide shots and shots of people speaking to each other from a distance with the cameras behind each person. Sam acknowledged there’s a pandemic to explain why she masked during the shooting club segment. HHI won’t say when they filmed, whether they filmed during the pandemic but you clearly see people distancing from each other. You wonder if they decided to put together a short season, because they didn’t know when they might go into full production schedule again. So two of the five episodes aren’t destination specific. They may be filmed near Sam’s home. She’s originally from New York so maybe Duchess County was chosen because it’s close? Quebec is also close to NY. The only other episode left is Fort Meyers and Sanibel n Florida but I see that they’re a sponsor so that explains that choice.
  2. Came across another Italy series on Youtube, called Alex Polizzi's Secret Italy. There are 4 full episodes posted on the Hotel Inspector channel, which is her Youtube channel. She is Italian but sounds like a Brit, probably spent some time in the UK because she has a posh accent, sounds completely like a native Brit. I searched and apparently she did a number of shows 5-7 years ago on UK TV with the same title. But the episodes listed on IMDB do not map out with the titles in the Youtube channel. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4146102/episodes?season=2&ref_=ttep_ep_sn_nx https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYDQPBIsUpNtlnVWPNRN1Gw/playlists So maybe they mashed up scenes from the show and uploaded them as episodes on the Youtube channel. They were posted only a couple of months ago. But obvious from the first episode that it's well before the pandemic. The production values aren't as good as the Stanley Tucci show. The photography doesn't show the bright beautiful colors, with beautiful overhead shots of Italian architecture and landscapes that Search for Italy does. But she is in many ways more personable. Her reactions to the foods, though this isn't a food-centric show or advertise itself as such, are more varied and seems genuine. For instance, in Sardinia, she goes to a big market and she's offered among other things hooves of pigs and sea slugs. She doesn't pretend she enjoyed them, says she can't get past the "slugs" part of the later delicacy. Then she goes into the Sardinian mountains where she's offered a suckling pig roast right on the fields where it was raised. She is aghast as someone takes a bolt cutter to break up the meat after it's been roasted. The segment in Sardinia focuses on an interesting bit of history, that is banditry on this impoverished part of the island where not too long ago, as recently as 1997, they were kidnapping rich people for ransom and hiding them in caves in the mountains or in the hollowed out trunks of felled oak trees. A local guide explains that they only went after millionaires, not regular tourists. Well they're not too far away from the Costa Smeralda.
  3. That would be nice but then they'd need crew on the ground there. They can hire free lance camera and sound people but can they get free lance producers who'd put things together, coordinate the shoots and the logistics of the House Hunters? Also they usually show the House Mounters at home in the US at a going-away party with family and friends before they fly to their new supposed homes. I guess they could have people in the US put that footage together and have people overseas do their part. You wonder how big the permanent production staff is, over the years. Someone has been coordinating with freelancers probably in other countries. Then on top of that, HGTV is trying to churn out exclusive content for Discovery + so where do they get the staff for all these shows? They must have more shows in production than CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox. And while reality shows in general are easier and cheaper to produce, HHI has to deal with logistics in other countries. About a couple of years ago, they had a ton of episodes in the Caribbean or maybe Central America and Mexico, than Europe, Asia or Oceania. Some of us speculated they're going cheap because and focusing on destinations closer to home, so that it's easier to produce than having to send personnel to other continents. Seems most of that is gone now or was until the pandemic hit. Actually many of the islands in the Carribean had to be more strict on lockdowns because of limited medical resources. But now, they may be opening up to tourism and other non-essential travel before Europe, certainly before Asia and Oceania. So maybe we will see a ton of episodes mostly from those small islands, where people are buying expensive vacation homes essentially.
  4. I don't know about that. He may have flown under the radar that season but winning it will just enable more dickishness from him in the future. Producers give him home field advantage so why would he quit now? Plus the regular Challenge has twenty something women who are dumb enough to hook up with him while the All Stars, the women are older, either married or wise to his schtick.
  5. New CA Senator said he's "pissed" that the people pushing recall vs. Newsome are the same ones who enabled 4 years of all kinds of shenanigans from Trump, giving him on pass on the horrible handling of the pandemic. He could have just said that they were Republicans trying to recall Newsome. But he spelled it out better.
  6. Siem Reap. Her choice for the non-modern home with the wet bathroom was surprising but it's definitely diving into the culture. She really didn't want to share the kitchen. But it was also cheaper, resulting in rent which was less than half the original price. Maybe the realtor guy couldn't find a place closer to $500 which had room to park the bar cycle thing? Even the more expensive place was well under her budget so he's right, she could have gone out to eat a lot. Is Ankor Watt the main and only attraction of that city? Seemed pretty far inland so maybe not too many other attractions. Nicely terraced rice paddies are scenic to look at or ride bicycles through. They have such tours in Vietnam so maybe they have something similar there too. Interesting that her desire for travel was ignited by seeing travel pictures from her stepmother when her parents divorced and her mother re-married.
  7. Beautiful locale. Waterfront for $1400. The other choice was a nicer appointed home but he was set on the water or maybe the price difference mattered.
  8. I wouldn't have minded seeing that rope challenge in the elimination in the current season in Iceland. Would have added some welcome variety to they cycling through like a handful of the same games.
  9. The elimination that Nany won, she just outmaneuvered her opponent instead of going for direct contact. But it would still be tough to beat Fessy because he can run well and if he gets a hand on a smaller guy, his strength takes over. There was also that Daily challenge where they were in a pool of water looking for someone in the brackish water and the people who were winning did so by sneaking towards the finish line and making a run for it, not trying to go through people.
  10. But most of the time, they're mismatches, no suspense about who's going to win. I guess it's simpler to set up than setting up that puzzle where they have to break the glass tiles on some big billboard.
  11. Yeah I'm generally not a favor of eating challenges but make them eat some gross parts of whales or something. You see them puking in the previews but that could be from fatigue. TJ said the Daily on this episode was a mini challenge. They finally used the big open spaces in this terrain but they really didn't photograph it too well -- not enough wide shots. Would be good to see an Iron Man type of final but they're probably going to have to stand out or sleep in the cold weather, maybe have some swimming sections but with snow on the ground they can't put them in the water too long without giving them a chance to warm up.
  12. Bill Simmons said it was fixed for Fessy. He thinks MTV wants him to be the new villain.
  13. There's been at least 3 Hall Brawls if not more. Every time they do it, there is usually a big mismatch in weight and size. It can't be an accident. The producers seem to deliberately go for the Hall Brawl whenever there's a bigger vs. smaller matchup or the chance of it. For all we know, they could have winked at Fessy and that is why he volunteered. In this case, Fessy would have a big advantage against any guy. He's the size of an NFL TE, used to firing out and leading with the helmet and shoulder pads to hit people, only in football games, he's going against guys closer to his size and strength. Maybe logistics limited the number of types of eliminations they could have. But I think a more likely reason is they like Fessy for whatever reason. They've given him a lot of air time this season and maybe his cockiness and villainy makes the producers think he could be the next Bananas. Whatever the case, there is no transparency at all whatsoever and they don't pretend to be trying to create fair competition. A long time ago, they used to have a spinning wheel so the type of elimination wouldn't be determined by producers off screen. In fact, they're not even pretending that the type of elimination was chosen randomly. They don't say for instance "we had a drawing in the office and this one came up again!" For one thing, the Double Agents wouldn't be able to decide whether to go compete themselves or send someone else because they couldn't tell what the elimination would be until they spun the wheel. As for the political shenanigans, Leroy and Cam better win this because either way they were betraying someone so other challengers would be wary of forming an alliance with them in the future. Supposedly Leroy is done after this one. But if Cam comes back, people might remember what she did to Kyle and what she would have done to Cory. However, these guys know whom they're friendly with. They probably calculated that Cory would have more friends or bigger alliances in future seasons than Kyle would. Could also be that they think Cory would run the Final more competitively as Cam's partner, though I don't know how he fares in distance. As for the other teams, I think Kaycee and Amber may actually be in better condition to do an endurance challenge than Cam or Nany. Of course Amber can't do math. She's all weepy about being disrespected. Well, you couldn't do a math equation that a second grader could solve, honey.
  14. I thought there were a couple of wedding pictures early on when they were telling their backstory. I don't remember this episode if it was a repeat. I thought it odd that Richard would walk them into the homes but then left them to go look in the bedrooms, kitchen and bathrooms on their own, meeting them later outside. That sounds like conscious distancing. The place they chose seem to be the best location, at least in terms of being near all the amenities people would want in a big city. They didn't express a preference for being near shop and restaurants. They were from Johannesburg so they may have lived in a similar city center. Since she was going to be spending a lot of time at home, that should have the most appeal to her, not to mention it was a good commute for him, with the Tube station near that building. Old home was in a residential area but apparently a much longer commute for him. The fireplaces in UK homes have these busy decorative details rather than simple basic colors. Or what's popular in the US when people renovate is to cover the facade with a nice stone surface like marble. I think I prefer the latter. BTW, what is the most common language in South Africa? OK looked it up: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_South_Africa Obviously shows for American TV are going to feature people speaking English. I thought maybe most white South Africans spoke Afrikaans and English bilingually.
  15. Ava was afraid to tell anyone in her family about her faith. Paul asked her if she feared that he’d be rage-y. Luke didn’t hide the fact that he is a vegan. Ally tried to support him by trying to be vegan as well but found herself wolfing down uncooked bacon in the fridge. Guess they’re getting better as parents. Paul recognizes that he and Ally can’t make the kids do what they want any longer. They might actually be their own persons with own interests and views which diverge from their own. Just in time, Ally finds that she’s pregnant.
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